Another day, another graph which shows Apple’s iPhone taking a beating from Android in the worldwide smartphone market. Yet, there’s a graph and some tracking data research which shows Apple’s iPhone gaining marketshare against Android smartphones.
What’s going on?
Is the U.S. market simply an anomaly which deviates from the worldwide trend, or, based upon the iPhone’s dominance in Japan, a harbinger of things to come– a growing affluence which bodes well for Apple’s smartphone marketshare in the future?
ComScore, another of those research and tracking companies that follow the technology industry, says the iPhone owns about 42-percent of the U.S. smartphone market, while Android devices dropped to barely 50-percent. BlackBerry and Windows Phones make up much of the other category.
Interestingly, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, have reported in the past year that the iPhone was their number one selling smartphone, which means Samsung’s Galaxy line is in second place and falling behind? Falling behind?
What’s going on there?
In the U.S. and other affluent countries, Samsung is caught in a squeeze with pricing pressure from Apple as the premium brand above, and pricing pressure on similarly equipped Android smartphones below Samsung. The Samsung brand hasn’t been able to gain the same level of brand caché as Apple commands.
Worldwide, Android smartphones hold a huge lead over Apple’s premium iPhone, but that is not the case in many affluent nations. Over 70-percent of smartphones sold in Japan are iPhones.
Is the smartphone situation in the U.S. and Japan indicative of Apple’s future against the Android juggernaut? Perhaps. Not only is Apple famous for disrupting these industries– PCs, smartphones, tablets, music, apps, and retail stores, the company has also disrupted the cell phone industry.
In nations where the dominant cell phone carrier does not sell the iPhone but competing cell phone companies do, their growth and profits are often stymied. When the larger carriers begin to sell the iPhone, that sets off more competition, which results in lowering the customer’s initial barrier to entry for Apple’s premium priced iPhone.
Win. Win. Win.
For Apple, the cell phone carriers, and customers. For Apple’s competitors, not so much, as they’re required by growing competition to cut prices on products which already have slim gross margins. As China, India, and other populous nations with price conscious smartphone buyers, Apple initially looks to be too expensive, hence a lower marketshare. As those populations migrate to middle class, though, Apple, the premium brand with inherent caché begins to prosper, while cheaper Android device makers struggle to survive with ridiculously low product margins.